tv CNN Newsroom CNN October 11, 2012 2:00pm-4:00pm EDT
issues facing our nation. or about something else. pizza hut giving free pizza for life to any customer who asks president obama or mitt romney if they prefer sausage or pep rowny pizza at the upcoming debate. >> that's right. anyone that uses the time to ask the candidates sausage or pep rowny will receive free pizza hut pizza for life. and just to be clear, that's meant to be a reward. >> so funny. cnn newsroom continues right now with brooke baldwin. we'll all be watching. i'm brooke baldwin. here we go. round one. the only round, actually, here. joe biden, paul ryan. both have arrived in danville, kentucky, to battle tonight in debate. and the vice president landed just about within the past hour or so.
that's his daughter there on his left. by his side, ashley and hunter and bo got officer two, as well. paul ryan flew in to town yesterday for the debate that begins in less than seven hours. keep in mind that is 9:00 eastern time. we have jim acosta on the ground in danville. i want to start with brianna keilar, white house correspondent, in kentucky for us, as well, right now. let's start with the exclusive pictures. the picture you have sort of behind the scenes and see is that the replica of the debate set and seeing joe biden? >> reporter: it's very similar to the debate set that we'll see tonight during the debate here in danville, kentucky. the pictures you are looking at, actually, though are of what's really a second floor ballroom in the wilmington, delaware, shert sherton. you can see how much the biden team tried to duplicate the team
here. >> here we go. >>. >> reporter: the table that joe biden is sitting at. that's chris van hollen, a democrat, the top on the house budget committee. it's a half circle table and then a little round section of it in the middle and that is where martha radditz the moderator will sit played in mock debates by the vice president's communications director and also a former "the washington post" reporter. but this is where vice presidential biden has been last four nights. mock debates, four in a row and he's been preparing in what's been the intensive debate camp in wilmington, delaware, which is where he lives not living in washington, d.c. >> okay. so we know he, though, now officially in kentucky along with the person with whom he'll be sparring tonight. let's talk polls, brianna. this is my personal hat tip to jon stewart. kind of funny. just as he knows and everyone else knows, we check the daily
gallup tracking polls here at cnn. it shows president obama losing two more points, mitt romney gaining one point. the president still leading. you see here 48% to romney's 46%. but, you know, we could theorize that post debate slide here for the president, brianna, hasn't bottomed out yet. is team obama realistically hoping that joe biden can turn it around tonight at the vp dpaeb debate? >> reporter: biden's folks say that the vice president is playing his own game but we know the reality. he is you should a lot of pressure because of what you see in the polls. this momentum that's very much on the side of mitt romney. and paul ryan. so it is very much up to vice president biden to take a shot here and try to stop some of that momentum because if you see a win by paul ryan, it's covered as a one-two punch. the momentum will continue. we know talking to some of the
vice president's aides that he's going to come out swinging. this's the expectation, to be on offense. we've been told he's eager, feeling good and trying to draw a contrast. when you look at the tiny table in the picture, brooke, it is a pretty intimate setting. if he's going to get in to it and draw a contrast, that's sort of code for confrontation. we'll see if he makes good on the promise of the team. >> bring yaannbrianna, do they say something memorable, as in not in a good way memorable? >> reporter: you'll remember he's sort of known as a bit of a gaffe machine. puts in his foot in his mouth from time to time. he said that the middle class buried for four years and that was something that the romney campaign just jumped on. the thing is, while he's prone to having the moments, we have certainly seen the press strategy on the part of the team to have him not do interviews and in contrast you see paul
ryan has done a ton of interviews. when you look at joe biden's performance, the gaffes don't really come out. they do come out when he speaks but not so much in debate. i spoke with his son and he said in his dad's political career there's nothing he prepares for as much as a debate. joe biden while he tries to be joe and sort of i think speak in a very comfortable manner, we're not expecting or certainly he's been practicing staying on message and having discipline he normally doesn't have, brooke. >> our colleague dana bash, she scored an interview with paul ryan and he talks about having this huge briefcase full of facts and everything, certainly he's studying for a while. he's been giving out interviews. you know, on the flip side, the vice president hasn't so much in the last couple of months and just curious. i know he has the experience but might that at all put him at a disadvantage tonight? >> reporter: a disadvantage for
not having some of those questions asked? i think, you know, of him, we're going to see if that's the case. we'll see it in his performance. certainly, putting in a lot of time during practice and, you know, he's definitely had the opportunity for questions asked of him in the past. i know that was a question of president obama. he hadn't necessarily had a ton of questions asked of him. might that have played in to his not perhaps being as ready as he can in the debate? i think we'll see if that matters tonight, brooke, but if you talk to the biden team, they say this is the press strategy and been doing and stands in contrast of paul ryan. i think part of the reason they're doing this and won't admit this is because the vice president is prone sometimes to just really say things off the cuff that get him in trouble and by not doing those interviews that is one way to minimize the dama damage, for sure. >> we'll look for the vice president close to paul ryan at
the tiny table. brianna keilar for us. thank you. we also have jim acosta covering team romney and today team ryan. we'll check in with jim acosta on the ground in danville right after this. the debate before the debate. we're about to show you what each candidate will probably say tonight in his own words. i'm brooke baldwin. the news is now. some critics blasting tonight's moderator for her ties to president obama. former debate moderator carol simpson joins me live on whether it should matter. plus, when afghanistan comes up tonight, so will insider attacks. i'll talk with a combat medic whose chilling memories reveal green on blue is nothing new. i see bloody handprints on walls thinking, my god, is that my son's? i don't know if he was shot. i don't know -- i don't know.
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well, we have now officially gotten the big debate prep from brianna keilar for us, there in danville, kentucky. now we want to talk ryan and for that we go to jim acosta also in danville, kentucky. what are we, jim? looking at the clock. less than seven hours away from the big sparring. >> reporter: yeah. >> and you know, we know the romney campaign got a tremendous lift from the first debate, the presidential debate last week. what are the expectations for paul ryan going in to tonight? >> reporter: brooke, it's good to be with you. i got stuck in joe biden's motorcade coming in here. on the ground here in kentucky. brooke, i did talk to a senior romney adviser about their expectations for paul ryan later on this evening. as you will recall, mitt romney
told wolf blitzer on qu"the situation room" he thought that paul ryan didn't debate before, perhaps last time was in high school. we went back and talked to the ryan folks about the that and he's debated several times during the course of his congressional career and talked to a senior romney adviser and talked about expectations and guidance, a quote here, it's a new experience for him according to this adviser, biden has so much more experience in the senate in the two campaigns and then the 2008 general election campaign, the face-off with sarah palin. ryan looking to focus on s substance according to this adviser. you will recall at the last debate in denver everybody talking about zingers. where are the zing efforts? when will the zingers fly? by my count, mitt romney only fired off a couple of zingers
during that presidential debate with president obama and so it's possible to see maybe the same tactic tonight for paul ryan. focusing on the substance and the issues and, you know, one thing that the romney campaign i think telegraphed is that paul ryan will go after those comments of joe biden we heard earlier this month at the event in charlotte talking about the middle class being buried. i think we can expect that to come tonight and heard from the obama campaign, the obama campaign talking about this editorial board meeting with "the columbus dispatch" during the which the gop nominee talked about what the health care plan might be and people with preexisting conditions without obama care to get health care at hospitals. that is something i think joe biden might be going after tonight and starting to see the expectations as to how the zingers and the non-zingers fly tonight, brooke. >> let's just talk about when you and i were in tampa covering
the democratic national convention and last time we or the country saw paul ryan up on the big stage and fact checkers had a field day with that. found all kinds of inconsistencies. are they cognizant of that going in to tonight? have they had ryan really working on his facts? >> reporter: i think so. you know, paul ryan is a guy of substance no matter what you think of him. a democrat or a republican. you know, i was going through some old footage of paul ryan debating with president obama not in an official debate but when there were some sessions about the budget, about health care reform that were you might remember put out on c-span. >> in 2010. >> reporter: exactly. seeing barack obama and paul ryan go at each other and at that time that, president obama described the ideas for medicare and medicaid as serious and worth discussion. the president said he disagreed with the ideas and said they were of some substance and worth
talking about and so paul ryan has been here before. he's been in this kind of environment before. he's gone toe to toe with the president as you mentioned in that issue. i think he'll be just fine tonight going up against joe biden. as for the facts, as for whether or not paul ryan was playing fast and loose with the facts in the republican convention, the romney -- you know, i brought this up with the romney campaign. they said look at what president obama said in the first presidential debate with mitt romney. the $5 trillion tax cut. they take issue with that figure. and so, i think the fact checkers more than busy tonight, brooke. >> jim acosta, see you next hour. i want to talk about this debate tonight. usually the vice presidential debate gets limited attention. historically to game changer but that's not the deal tonight. after president obama's we'll call it less than stellar performance last week, joe biden is front and center facing pressure tonight. how's the rival congressman paul
ryan preparing? ryan lugs around this ratty old briefcase. this is what i was talking about earlier. stuffed with 40 pounds of debate study material. you saw dana bash. this is what -- little show and tell part of the exclusive interview that dana scored and already in danville, kentucky, as well, where the debate as we mentioned is hours away. dana, all right. so you got this -- he has a huge briefcase. so i presume what he's saying there with all the study material is he's prepared. >> reporter: yes. he says that that's what he says with everything that he tackles in life. he prepares, prepares, prepares. what is he doing today in the hours before the face-off? if you look at a picture, he tweeted he's hanging out with his family. he has three young children and one -- a picture with his son. his only -- there you go. only official event to go in to the hall for a walk-through and a sense of the real stage feels
before tonight. he's also, of course, this is his reputation, exercising and just relaxing before tonight because back to your original question, he effectively has been preparing for tonight, brooke, since he started. since he was picked as mitt romney's running mate. i mean, they have been working on boning him up on not only on the issues of the day which generally, you know, he has propelled some of the issue and doesn't have to do that but on romney's record to make sure that those match up and on what joe biden is going to say. listen to part of our interview. >> the only other person to debate joe bide anna nicole a vice presidential debate is sarah palin. have you called her for advice? >> i haven't. i don't really know her. >> would you? >> sure, sure. >> nice to meet you. can i call you joe? thanks. >> famously or maybe infamously said she wanted to call him joe because she was calling him joe
o. biden. >> i know him as joe. >> will you call him as joe? >> i don't know. i haven't given much thought to that. probably not unless he wants to make it casual. we know each other and gotten along quite well over the years. i like joe personally quite a bit. i just disagree with the policies. >> so he's not included in his debate prep calling the only person to ever actually stand on the vice presidential stand with joe biden, that is sarah palin. but i also -- it was a good reminder to us that he does know joe biden. i covered them for years both serving together in congress. of course, they worked together. or maybe they've butted heads is maybe a better way to say it since biden has been vice president up and down pennsylvania avenue so that's a dynamic we didn't see with mitt romney and barack obama who really only met a few handful of times. >> calling him joe. great interview, by the way. watch this entire exclusive interrue, dana bash interviewing
congressman paul ryan tonight and cnn's debate night in america begins at 7:00 p.m. and then the one and only debate here, vice presidential debate. meantime, 14 years old. standing up to the taliban. now, the taliban is claiming responsibility for shooting this teen, putting her in critical condition. in fact, today, former first lady laura bush weighs in.
that tiny, tiny girl, courageous girl who terrify it is taliban is struggling to recover from the attempt to shoot her and silence. taliban gunmen hunted down malala yousafzai on the bus, taking her home from school and shot her point blank. the taliban accuses the 14-year-old of obscenity because she spoke out about the oppression of women. i want you to watch what our own reza sayah found when he spoke to other children about this woman in pakistan. >> reporter: it was the nonstop courage to speak out against the
taliban that first captured the hearts of many of this country's youth. >> i thought that i must stand up for my rights, the right of education, the right for peace. >> reporter: malala was targeted for fighting for girls' education. now it's her fight to survive that's countless young admirers praying for her throughout schools in pakistan. did everyone hear about what happened to malala? >> yes. >> reporter: when students learned mill tapts shot her in the head, they made banners, wrote her letters, demanding the government to do everything to save her. >> i was really shocked because she was so ambitious and, like, shesz the girl which pakistani girls should look up to and now she's been shot and i pray for her. >> reporter: who in here was inspired with what malala said and what she did? >> to have the courage to actually just go against all that, i think that was quite respectable. >> reporter: so has anyone here decided to maybe change the way they live their life because of
malala? anyone? >> in our society, it is considered that girls, they don't have rights and they don't get to study. but i think that's completely wrong. we have same rights as men. and we will stand up for our rights and we will go out and encourage all girls to study. >> reporter: now, malala liked to speak up, even though she was in a dangerous situation. how many of you are finding yourself speaking up more about thing that is are not right because of malala? >> well, i like to, you know, i want these people that attacked her i want them to learn that, like, you know, women they're all n not all bad. they're afraid of what women can do because they know that women can do a lot. >> reporter: boys go to school here and here's what's remarkable. malala is inspiring the boys, as well. does malala inspire you? >> yeah. she does. >> reporter: she does? >> yeah. >> reporter: how so?
>> like i want to take advantage of school. i want to study. >> reporter: because of malala? >> yeah. >> what i learned from her is, i mean, it's the best thing of education. if you get education then you would be a better person. >> reporter: motivated to be better people, work hard, get an education and the source of their inspiration, a remarkable 14-year-old girl now fighting for her life. >> reza sayah, thank you so much. iowa n't to read to you what laura bush wrote this morning in today's "the washington post." speaking out after an atrocious act, however, isn't enough. we must speak up before these acts occur. work to ensure they do not happen again and keep our courage to continue to resist the ongoing cruelty and barbarrism of the taliban.
laura bush, i agree with you. yes, the attack in benghazi became a political circus but the obama administration needs to answer tough questions so we'll ask the president's deputy campaign manager of how joe biden will explain it tonight. well, legalzoom came up with a better way. we took the best of the old and combined it with modern technology. together you get quality services on your terms, with total customer support. legalzoom documents have been accepted in all 50 states, and they're backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. so go to legalzoom.com today and see for yourself. it's law that just makes sense.
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as congressman paul ryan goes up against vice president joe biden tonight you can bet a topic to debate, what went down on libya? as you know, these four american weres killed. u.s. ambassador chris stevens, sean smith and two u.s. security officers. a government oversight committee grilled state department officials and diplomatic security officers for close to four hours yesterday. i want to go the deputy manager of the obama campaign, stephanie
cutter, she is live there at the debate site in kentucky. stephanie, welcome back. good to see you. >> good to see you. >> no doubt this has absolutely turned in to a political circus, whatever political aisle you're looking at. but how do you explain the mixed messages coming from the administration? >> well, look. you know, the administration has been open and honest from day one about the mbenbenghazi atta. as more information has become available, they've made that information available to the american people and to members of congress. but, you know, when a crisis occurs, when an attack occurs, that information is gathered and over time it's more clear what happened. and i think that's the case here. and, you know, we're here in kentucky at the site of the vice presidential debate and we're anxious for this actually to come up tonight because joe biden, the vice president, will be standing on stage with paul ryan. paul ryan has politicized and
made ate political circus all over this country of the terrible tragedy that happened in libya. >> stephanie, i have to take you back. >> he's not saying exactly what he would do differently than the president and the vice president an i hope he'll explain that to us tonight. >> i think americans want explaining from both biden and perhaps we'll hear answers from ryan, as well. i have to be specific with the administration because that's what i'm asking about and i'm sure you've seen this. we have put together a montage of administration officials, cnn, abc, univision in the two weeks after the four americans were killed. take a look. >> our current best assessment based on the information that we have at present is that, in fact, what this began as was a spontaneous, not a premeditated response to what occurred in cairo. >> what we do know is that the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the
video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they can also directly harm u.s. interests. >> what happened in benghazi was a terrorist attack and we will not rest until we have tracked down and brought to justice the terrorists who murdered four americans. >> it was reported that people just wept crazy and wild because of this anti-muslim movie or anti-muhammad i guess movie but then i heard hillary clinton say it was an act of terrorism. >> we are still doing an investigation. there's no doubt that the kind of weapons that were used, the ongoing assault that it wasn't just a mob action. >> it was a terrorist attack. because a group of terrorists obviously conducted that attack on the consulate. >> stephanie, four days, four
days after, you know, people within the president's own administration calling it a terrorist attack. we saw him on "the view." the president asked point blank and said they're still investigating. how do you explain that? >> well, we are still investigating. in fact, we are today still investigating and, you know, there are two things that as soon as that attack 0 curd, two things. one, getting to the bottom of that attack to figure out what happened and bringing the people to justice. that's what the administration is focused on. you know, what you saw there is the administration giving you their best intelligence, what their best intelligence telling them of what was happening on the ground and had we had any different information we would have put it out. we would have told the american people what we know and, you know, in terms of the politicizization of this, we're at a debate an i hope we get to talk about the debate but the entire reason that this has become the, you know, political topic it is is because of mitt romney and paul ryan.
it's a big part of their stump see speech and reckless and -- >> as we witness the revolution -- >> it is absolutely national security. >> people in the american -- you know, within the american public have a right to answers. >> right, absolutely. >> i do want to get to the debate. i promise. let's throw the politics out of it. i want you to hear the words from a mother. this is the mother of sean smith. you know he was the computer specialist at the consulate in benghazi, father of two. she went on with anderson cooper last night and she told our audience she doesn't now how he son died one month later. >> i look at tv and i see bloody handprints on walls. thinking, my god, is that my son's? i don't know if he was shot. i don't know -- i don't know. they haven't told me anything. they're still studying it. and the things that they are telling me are just outright lies. >> stephanie, she said, you
know, the president, the vice president, the secretary of state, secretary of defense said they'll get to the bottom of this. she cried on the president's shoulder. stephanie, i know you're not speaking for the state department and i know your job to put a lot of spin out there. but how do you explain this? to just people, to just americans 26 days to go who are on the fence who to vote for. >> you're right. i can't speak for the administration. i'm on the other side, i'm on the campaign. my job may be to spin but it's -- >> it's brooke. it's brooke. >> i'm sorry. brooke, but we put the facts out there every step of the way. i have great sympathy for that mother who lost her son. i don't know about the conversations that have occurred and i do need to leave it to the state department. >> focus on tonight. paul ryan he sat down with cnn and dana bash. gave us a preview from his side of the debate but we got a rejection of joe biden. why is that?
is team obama afraid, you know, shielding him from the media may make him look less prepared? why is that? >> i'm sorry. i didn't get the actual question. >> we've been asking for interviews from vice president joe biden. cnn has. and we've really not seen him in a sit-down in a couple of months and i'm curious. is there a fear perhaps in a one on one he may appear less prepared? >> well, i think that the vice president has been campaigning across this country and the priority is talking to the american people on the ground and battleground states and doing battleground tv. i don't know that he won't do a cnn interview between now and the election. i'm sure they'll try to. but his focus has been traveling the country, campaigning on behalf of this president. getting the message out on the ground and preparing for this debate and anxious to it have tonight. >> 9:00 eastern time. we'll be watching for it, stephanie cutter, department if i manager of the obama campaign. thank you. we'll be right back.
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she is one lady who saw history in the making at a presidential debate. >> now, tonight's program is unlike any other presidential debate in history. >> carol simpson, the first female debate moderator. what are her thoughts? she joins me live next. about once a month. last time i was at a gas station was about...i would say... two months ago. i very rarely put gas in my chevy volt. i go to the gas station such a small amount that i forget how to put gas in my car. [ male announcer ] and it's not just these owners giving the volt high praise. volt received the j.d. power and associates appeal award two years in a row. ♪
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want to show you something. want to show you this picture, it's from martha radditz. you can tell that's sky, this is her. she's all suited up in the bc of a jet fighter and tweets this trip was a quote/unquote good warm-up for tonight's vice presidential debate. she is the moderator for the highly anticipated and only face-off between joe biden and paul ryan.
this will be raddiatz's high profile debate. carol simpson was there. she was presiding over the presidential debate of bill clinton, george w. bush, ross perot. carol, welcome back. lovely to have you back here. we were talking in the commercial break. you said you've known martha for 20-some years. as tough as they come. how tough, a? and b, as a woman, do you think she feels any extra pressure to bring it? >> you know, martha is unique in that she has faced down death. she's been in afghanistan. she's been in iraq. how scary could biden and ryan be to her? after the things that she's gone through. she is a tough, no nonsense.
i don't think she's going to lose control aft debit as jim lehrer seemed to do last week. i think she feels pressure but that she'll do just fine. >> carol, i had just yesterday on the show the woman who was first to spar with paul ryan in the first major congressional debate. he was 27 or 28. here's what she told me about his debate strategy. >> what i found is someone who's very, very slick. he was able to really use the debate format basically to his own ends. he had a tendency to play fast and loose with the format and he'd actually developed an schtick if you will of pretended indignation whenever he didn't like a question and he, you know, he was very evasive. he would often rotate to his own
script and completely ignore the moderator. >> as a moderator up there, how do you gracefully keep the candidates on point, bring them back on topic when to use lydia's word, they're evasive? >> i don't think the moderator has to worry about this. joe biden will be his rival in the debate and i think joe biden's going to do a really good job of trying to keep him on track and on the truth as they would say. because he has been kind of stretching some of the facts. and so, i think with joe biden there, he's going to keep him on track. >> oh, come on. these are two politicians. i'm sure they're very adept at, you know, talking around something or attacking and not, you know, hitting straight to the point. what did you do when you found that the candidates back in '92 were doing that?
>> i am -- i consider myself a good reporter and spent many years doing that. and covering politicians who know that you will ask them a question and they'll go, well, that's a very good question. and i'm going to get to that but let me tell you about such and such. they try to change the subject. and if you are not listening very carefully, you'll forget what the question was that you asked them. so, i think that, you know, despite their evasion of the questions that martha is a fabulous reporter and she will know when they're pulling that little trick and get them back to what she wants to know. >> listen, listen and listen. best advice ever from carole simpson. carole, thank you so much. we'll check back in with you before the next presidential debate. make sure you join us for the one and only vice presidential debate. cnn's debate night in america
with her whole life ahead of her one promising young medical student saw her career come to a painful and terrifying stop. in this week's "human factor" dr. sanjay gupta looks at the obstacle this woman faced and how it changed her destiny. >> great, fantastic. >> i think i always wanted to be a doctor. my dad was a physician and so i would always see him going to work and i was 6 and 7. he was always helping people and so that was my inspiration. >> reporter: and just three months in to the studies, dr.
alyssa reiber said her life changed. something she was learning about seemed to apply to her. >> reporter: i had a big tumor here in the middle of the chest. >> reporter: diagnosis, hodgkins lymphoma. >> i then became a patient and 15 years next month. and your world just stops. and as a young person, who's getting to live my dream of being a doctor, that was very tough. >> reporter: she knew the prognosis was good and prepared for radiation and chemotherapy. with the help of family, friends and fellow students and faith, she fought that cancer and was able to stay in medical school. she came to houston as a fellow. she joined the faculty where she began treating patients at the local county hospital. it's oncology care to the underserved and indigent. >> just so happy.
>> thank you so much. thank you so much. >> reporter: the patients that came to see her are not only e seeing a doctor but also a survivor. >> better than first time i was here. >> i lived through it. right? >> yep. >> and i'm fine. >> reporter: she not only runs a survivorship program, last year she became the director of this cancer program. >> what have you been able to do? >> reporter: dr. sanjay gupta, cnn reporting. >> sanjay, thank you. make sure you watch saturday 4:30 in the afternoon eastern time and sunday morning at 7:30 eastern. coming up, green on blue attacks. we'll talk to a man who served as a combat adviser in afghanistan who had to face the fact that the very soldiers he was training could potentially turn around and kill him. all these leading eyewear brands and styles. rockstar! really? yeah. oh, wow! oh, black frame looks good on you. yeah?
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u.s. troops gunned down this year by afghan forces they helped train and a veteran that served in afghanistan says these insider attacks, he says nothing new and maybe the u.s. should have reexamined the relationship with afghanistan a long, long time ago. he's brandon karo and joins me live from new york. thank you for coming on. i appreciate it. >> thank you, brooke. >> i read your article from earlier in the week and thought, my goodness. the way you describe, the memories you have of the first green on blue attack that you actually heard about back in 2007 as a combat adviser in afghanistan, can you take me back there and share that? >> okay. so actually where the prison is it's black horse to the americans. there was an afghan national soldier guarding the outer perimeter of the base. two soldiers colonel harrison and master sergeant roburto were
shot by the soldier as they were leaving the compound. they both died the injuries. that was as far as i know the first green on blue attack recorded. >> and as we keep talking about this, i had a father on not too long ago, brandon, just heart broken over his son who died, marine son. 21, killed in a green on blue attack and i want to play the sound. over the phone with his father, his son predicted his own death. tell me. >> i'm done inside. they tore my whole heart out. i have a hard time going to bed. i think about him every day, every minute. his brothers kill me when i look at them because they're hurt. his mom is hurt so bad. but they didn't just take my son. they destroyed my family and i don't want another family to feel the pain i'm feeling. i don't want to see another family out there see their son being broke back on a plane and rolled off a plane in a box. this boy should have been
protected inside a military base. we're training people and my son said, we're training people that are going to turn the weapons on us and kill us. >> it's tough to listen to that interview but i thought it was important to replay it. it hits home i think part of your point. you had similar experiences. you figured out that the soldiers you were training could be a potential threat and kill you and you talk specifically about cell phones. why were cell phones such a big clue? >> well, when we would go out on patrols or convoys, we would have to line up the ana soldiers and take their phones away because we didn't trust them not to inform on us to taliban or al qaeda operatives, whomever. >> didn't trust them even though you're training them. you had to take their phones away. >> this was as early as 2007. by the time i got there in 2006, this was already policy. >> so what about now?
because our troops have been in afghanistan for a decade. why -- >> right. >> why are these insider attacks on the rise now? i don't know if it's a cultural thing. when's changed? >> well, that's the interesting question. why are the attacks on the rise now? because we've been working hand in hand with the afghans for over ten years. so why now are we seeing this sudden rise in deaths? does it have anything to do with the scheduled withdrawal of troops in 2014 of american forces? and how the afghan national army soldiers, what they're going to do when the americans leave. are they trying to set themselves up potentially with whomever's in control of the country? it's not us. and it's -- there's going to be a real power struggle i feel after the americans leave in 2014. >> brandon, what about this debate tonight? we're going to be hearing from paul ryan and joe biden. and, you know, any kind of question, foreign policy, domestic policy, et cetera can be thrown at them. what do you want to hear from them? how should we be protecting our
troops? >> that's a great question. i don't have the answer because here's the position we're in. we have to per our mission we have to prepare these forces as best we can before we leave the country in order to do that we have to put people in harm's way but at the same time we have to protect our men and women in uniform. we can't put them in positions where they could be sabotaged, attacked from behind. it is not fair and right. it's one thing to tell a platoon of machirines to take the hill. it's another thing to train up soldiers that could turn the weapon on them. >> like what happened with greg buckley jr. >> exactly what happened with greg buckley jr. and colonel harrison, master sergeant roberto. i think 53 for the year. so far. >> brandon, sadly, i think this conversation will have to continue here. brandon caro, i hope you join me
again. we'll wait and see what biden and ryan may say about this tonight. i appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. top of the hour here. thank you for being with me. i'm brooke baldwin. six hours now from the vice presidential debate. to hear paul ryan tell it, he is practically quaking in his boots at the thought of going up against josef r. biden. >> joe biden's been on the stage many times before. this is my first time. so sure, us's a nervous experience. he is one of the most experienced debaters in the modern politics. >> here he is, joe biden on the left of the screen. four days worth of preparations in delaware. the vice president has arrived for tonight's debate in danville, kentucky. here he is getting off air force two this afternoon. daughter ashley by his side. sons bo and hunter, wife jill
there on the plane, as well. now, paul ryan, he did arrive. he actually got in to town yesterday. he is ready to go, as well. and we mentioned this before. gallup's daily tracking poll came out about an hour ago. president obama losing two more points. mitt romney gaining one point. so obama standing now at 48% with romney's 46%. we could theorize that the post-debate slide for the president hasn't yet bottomed out. paul ryan says he is not intimidated, heading in to tonight's debate. ryan is a hunter and when he sat down with an interview with data bash, he told us that he's preparing just like he would any other prey. and his friends spelled out what that means. data bash already in danville, kentucky, for me. and dana, before we get in to hunting and prey, i am curious. did ryan at all alter the prep after the presidential debate last week?
>> reporter: you know what, brooke? i'm told he did and preparing for a long time but after the presidential debate last week when president obama much to the chagrin of many democrats left on the table of what democrats think are the best arguments, 47%, the comment by mitt romney, what mitt romney did or didn't do at bain capital, the former firm, what they started to do inside ryan's debate prep according to a source is step up the to cans on that over the past week because they're pretty sure since president obama didn't do it and got flack for it, vice president biden will tonight in the debate. more broadly he is preparing for a very long time. really, since the day that he was picked by mitt romney and i started the interview that i did by talking to him about what a friend of his told me about how he hunts. i'm sorry. i don't think we have that sound
bite. >> we are waiting for it. do we have it, guys? i'm sorry. we don't have it. >> reporter: that's okay. i'll tell you. the gist of what this friend of his told me is that before he goes hunting, showers in nonscented soap. sprays nonscented stuff all over. it's not that atypical for hunters but takes it to the nth degree and said that's the way i prepare for things to do well and right and admitted that very much speaks to preparing for tonight's debate. meticulous. walks around with a huge, huge bag of briefings and binders, studies them any chance he gets. i interviewed his brother, as well. said five minutes there, ten minutes and 20 minutes and when he had the time on his schedule carved out, brooke, that his aides really tried to hold that and secure that. if anybody bothered him, they heard about it. that's how important ryan himself taken the prep for tonight's debate.
>> can we talk about some of the pictures in "time" magazine here? let's show some of the pictures. a couple of hours before the debate tonight. "time" magazine released the images in the issue hitting stands tomorrow and do you think -- is it unfair if we have the pictures? here we go. is it unfair to release them? clothed in a suit. here he is pumping iron. what about the timing? >> reporter: you know, they're being very careful inside the ryan camp not to publicly get upset about it. i want to read you a quote of paul ryan's spokesman michael steele. he says, paul ryan takes his health seriously. clearly judging by these silly pictures he doesn't take himself too seriously. trying to stay tongue in cheek publicly. privately they're not happy but the back story here, brooke, the photographs were taken by "time"
magazine about a year ago preparing for the person of the year. paul ryan was a final contender so they went and did a photo shoot just in case and ryan and his aides agreed to do them in the words of ryan's own aides silly photos. not the kind of imagery when imagery matters so much running for vice president. not the imagery they want out particularly on today, a day like today but "time" magazine in the news business. we are. they thought they had something newsy and why not put it out on a day focused on paul ryan? >> thank you. just for anyone to see your interview, full interview with congressman paul ryan watch it tonight airing it during the coverage leading up to the vice presidential debate. of course, the pregame if you will begins at 7:00 eastern here on cnn and cnn.com. i'm about to give you five things to watch for tonight including whether the vice
president will go where his boss did not. i'm brooke baldwin. the news is now. >> when they take the stage at centre college down the street -- >> behind the scenes of the places you won't see on tv tonight. plus, regardless of who wins, does momentum shift in a cnn political power couple weigh in live. and -- >> i see bloody handprints on walls thinking, my god, is that my son's? i don't know if he was shot. i don't know. i don't know. they haven't told me anything. >> the mother of an american killed in the benghazi attack accuses the obama administration of lying to her.
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mccain who was 72 at the time. needless to say, then senator obama held his own. but there's no telling who will win tonight. one thing is for certain, though. they're both equally passionate and energetic winning people over to their party come november 6th. with me right now, the dynamic duo. cnn political reporter peter hamby and paul steinhauser. good to see you. paul, first things first, when we're talking about the controversial romney 47% comments, do you think biden will go there tonight where his boss did not? >> i think a lot of democrats want that to happen, brooke. there's disappointment, peter, i think that's obvious. the president wasn't going very aggressively against mitt romney over the 47% controversy, over bain capital, the tax returns. i think vice president biden is not been shy at all in the campaign trail, brooke. that's fair to say.
what we're looking at tonight is, is he as aggressive going after not the guy sitting next to him but his boss, mitt romney. you know what? i think obama campaign officials are quietly saying that's a distinct possibility. >> peter, what about the wo in k trap? ryans is a numbers guy. how far should he go tonight? will money talk translate to voters, people watching? >> right. i mean, the mission for paul ryan since he was picked is to stop talking like, you know, denison of the beltway. you know, he's done a good job of it on the campaign trail, frankly, messaging for mitt romney. however, tonight is a much bigger audience and paul ryan introducing himself to the american public. polls show that voters have a slightly more favorable view of ryan than biden. google just released data today
their far more google searches. the mission is to talk about the budget and the numbers and he loves and medicare but in a clear and concise way that syncs with the romney campaign and talk to voters tonight and not just talk like talking to reporters on capitol hill, brooke. >> sure. as a denison within the 202 area. let' throw this to you. much ado about paul ryan's age. we talked about this age gap. you know, biden has nearly three decades on ryan. ryan needs to convey he's ready to fill in. as president. if and when something happens to mitt romney. this is to both of you all. how does he do that? >> well, you know, this is interesting. as the running mate to the challenger, this is probably paul ryan's most important thing tonight to convey mitt romney is the president and something happens to romney, is paul ryan ready to step in in the top job?
some campaign officials are confident. why? because peter was talking about. command of the issues. house budget chairman. the command of the issues. they feel it allows himself to portray himself as ready and that's a big test of this. >> the flip side of the age difference, brooke, yes, the biggest of two vice president candidates in over a century, i believe. joe biden's very energetic. out there on the road campaigning and hanging out at dairy queen and comes off younger than he is and paul ryan is a serious man coming across as older and the age difference thing might be a little bit overblown, brooke. >> i was talking to his first real congressional major opponent in 1998 and she pointed out saying to him i could be your mother and we know how well that race ended up for paul ryan. paul and peter, guys, enjoy the debate tonight. i'll be watching. thank you so, so much. just to remind all of you, the big debate, the only vice
presidential debate tonight live right here on cnn and cnn.com. our coverage, please join us, two hours in advance, 7:00 eastern. the romney campaign got a big lift from the first debate last week. so, what are the expectations for paul ryan tonight? congressman jeb hinserling tells me next. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] at&t. the nation's largest 4g network. now covering 3000 more 4g cities and towns than verizon.
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>> i know you've worked closely with paul ryan on debt and deficit matters. have you ever found yourself debating him, you know, taking opposite sides on something, let's say, and if so, was he a tough debater? >> oh, wow. you have me scratching my head on that one. it's -- it would be a pretty odd day paul ryan and i would disagree on anything. he knows the budget better than just about everybody. he has a plan with governor romney for economic growth and although vice president biden is a veteran of 18 different presidential and vice presidential debates, he may score well on style but he's got the obama record to defend and not an easy evening for him on substance. and i think people are very impressed with paul ryan. i mean, here's a guy from the heartland of america. he knows the values and challenges of middle income families. and he's got alan along with governor romney to put america back to work and quit spending money we don't have the children
have better opportunities than we have had and -- >> let me jump in. >> i'm looking forward to tonight. >> on that plan, the question then is, does paul ryan need to be more specific tonight in the answers than he was 11 days ago when he was asked by an interviewer to explain mitt romney's tax plan and he said, well i don't really have time to do that. does he have -- can he do better than that? >> there will be plenty of time. here's the tax plan. fairer, flatter, simpler. more competitive tax code. broaden the base getting rid a lot of special interest deductions, a third of the tax code is known as tax expenditures. >> why couldn't paul ryan explain that 11 days ago? >> well, my guess is he could if he had had time but we did this in '03. it was done in the reagan administration. it was done under jfk.
guess what? when you follow this recipe you get more jobs, more economic growth and more tax revenue that helps fight the deficit and that's in contrast to what the president is offering us which is another tax increase on small business, almost a million small businesses and costing 700,000 jobs and it's a real choice election coming the economy. not to mention the debt, not to mention foreign policy. >> okay. so congressman, let's just say on point with your guy. one thing we know is that romney and ryan say they'll reduce income taxes. across the board, 20%. we have this graphic. you know, if you look at recent history, the reagan tax cuts, both coincided with massive growth of the national debt. the debt rose nearly 200% under reagan. nearly doubled under bush. at least partly because the reagan and -- hang on, hang on, sir. with all due respect. at least partly because the
reagan and bush tax cuts reduced government revenues. you have a debt and deficit hawk. do you worry looking ahead about the debt under romney might explode again similarly? >> well, number one, the deficit is the symptom. spending is the disease. i mean, since world war ii, revenues have averaged about 18.5% of the economy. spending is at 20%. now due to the president's policies we have revenue that's gone down due to less economic growth but it's spending that's skyrock skyrocketing. he has it up to almost 25% of the economy and on automatic pilot for 40%. that means middle income families will suffer. >> but why would -- >> it is a spin proven problem. the deficit is the symptom. spending is the disease. you have to take care of the spending side and once again, brooke, if you look at irs data, you will see that revenues actually increased when we brought down rates because we had more economic activity. >> but congressman, why would --
>> -- to your proposition. >> why would the trickle down theory work this time producing record debt two times before? >> because we haven't controlled spending. the key is controlling spending. again, i don't know how many times i can repeat it. look at the data. you may have a theory but look at the data and the data is we received more revenues of economic growth. you're saying we received less. we didn't. spending skyrocketing. you can't have programs growing at 6%, 7%, 8%, medicare, medicaid, social security, federal retirement going broke and the president isn't doing anything about it and then economic growth at 1.3%. the math doesn't work. the challenge on the spending side so i don't think the american people believe they're undertaxed. i think they believe that washington spends too much. and i don't know any economist in america who thinks we're going to create more jobs
increasing taxes on small business. i don't know anybody who believes that their unemployed sister-in-law gets a job raising taxes on the employer. it just defies common sense much less economic science and history. >> congressman, let's move along. i want to ask about romney and how he seems -- laugh if you will, i want to move along. this is an important point that i know americans want an answer to. he seems to be moving to center. we saw yesterday about abortion, for example, parts of health care reform and wall street reform. foreign policy where we're just yesterday he was emphasizing diplomacy with regard to syria. are you hearing worries of the republican base going wobbly in the effort to reach voters in the middle? >> oh, i think listen. republicans are very excited at the presentation that governor romney had in the last debate. it was the first opportunity for many americans to see him
unfiltered with all due respect by the media, unfiltered by the negative campaign ads. >> but congressman, i'm not asking how he did on the last debate and the topics moving to the middle and what republicans are saying about that. >> republicans are very excited about governor romney. very excited. and if anybody has gone a little wobbly, you know, you look at the president who said essentially all is well. we've got, you know, we're more secure nation and now we have the foreign policy that's literally going up in flames in front of us on our television screens. that's what, you know, that's what the american people wonder about. >> congressman jeb hensarling, thank you so much for joining me from kentucky. big debate tonight. >> thank you so much. >> joe biden, paul ryan, pressure's on both on the right and the left in tonight's debate. how can each side make the age gap work for their campaign? my favorite married political power couple here.
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we have the preview no pundit can match from the candidates themselves. think about it. months on the trail. joe biden and paul ryan debating all along but a different times and different places. right now, listen to the point counter point on four major issues currently facing america. we're calling it the debate before the debate. >> the romney-ryan tax plan will raise taxes on middle class families with a child one or more children by additional $2,000 a year. no, no. all kidding aside. without the boos. this is deadly earnest, man. this is deadly earnest. how they can justify, how they
can justify raising taxes on the middle class that's been buried the last four years. how in lord's name can they justify raising their taxes with these tax cuts? >> vice president biden just today said that the middle class over the last four years is quote buried. we agree. that means we need to stop digging by electing mitt romney the next president of the united states. of course the middle class has been buried. they're being buried by regulations, by taxes, being buried by borrowing. they're being buried by the obama administration's economic failures. they've tried the attack on solutions of medicare and social security but they got caught with their hands in the cookie jar by turning medicare in to a
piggyback for obama care. we want and need this debate. and when people realize the damage that obama care places on medicare we will win this debate because the best way to save medicare is to repeal obama care. >> ask yourself, if what the republicans -- what romney and ryan are saying about obama and biden is true on medicare, why would the american medical association endorse our position? why would the american hospital association? and most importantly, why would aarp endorse what we are? they have no credibility. >> if you don't stand up to countries who are stealing our intellectual property, stealing our products then that sends a green light to the other countries around the world it's however you want it. it's wild, wild west. >> mitt romney ran bain capital.
by the way, honestly, fairly. according to the rules. but "the washington post" said while he was at bain they were pioneer of outsourcing to china and other places. >> they voted against every single solitary opportunity to reduce the national debt if, in fact, it contained one thin dime in additional revenue that people making over a million dollars would have to pay. there are the facts. >> this debt crisis is most predictable economic crisis we have ever had and the president has not done a single thing to prevent it. in fact, he's spending us closer toward a debt crisis. we cannot afford four more years like the last four years. >> the debate before the debate and now the president. here he is speaking to a crowd. coral gables, florida. let's listen. >> too many families who can't pay the bills.
too many homes that are still under water. too many young people still burdened with debt when they graduate from college. but if there's one thing i know, florida, it's this. we have come too far to turn back now. the american people have worked too hard to get to this point after all that we've been through together, after all that we fought through together. why would we go backwards? the last thing we can afford, florida, right now is four years of the very same policies that got us in to this mess in the first place. i won't let that happen. we can't let that happen. that's why i'm running for a second term as president of the united states of america.
>> four more years four more years. four more years. four more years. four more years. >> florida, i have seen too much pain and too much struggle because of bad economic policies that happened before we got elected to let this country go through another round of top down economics. the centerpiece of governor romney's economic plan is a new $5 trillion tax cut that favors the wealthiest americans. don't boo. vote. vote. vote.
now, governor romney has been pitching this plan for almost a year now. he stood up on the stage in one of his primary debates proudly promised that the new tax cuts on top of the bush tax cuts include the top 1%. now, you wouldn't know this from listening to the new latest version of mitt romney. he's trying to go through an extreme makeover. after running for more than a year in which he called himself severely conservative, mitt romney's trying to convince you that he was severely kidding. look. what he was selling was not
working. because people understood his ideas wouldn't help the middle class so these days mitt romney's for whatever you're for. suddenly he loves the middle class. can't stop talking enough about them. he loves medicare. loves teachers. he even loves the most important parts of obama care. what happened? now, what does he have to say this new version of mitt romney about all the things he's actually promised to do as president? tax breaks for outsourcers? never heard of such a thing. saying we should cut back on teachers? doesn't ring a bell. don't boo. vote. kicking 200,000 young floridians off their insurance plans.
who me? and when he's asked about the cost of the tax plan, he just pretends it doesn't exist. what $5 trillion tax cut? i don't know anything about a $5 trillion tax cut. pay no attention to the $5 trillion tax cut on my website. look. governor romney thinks we have not been paying attention for the last year and a half. he is going to say whatever it takes to try to close the deal and he's counting on the fact you don't remember that what he's selling is exactly what got us in the mess in the first place. so florida, you got to let him know we remember. we know full well that if he gets a chance, governor romney will rubber stamp the top down
agenda of this republican congress the second he takes office and we cannot afford that future. his plan will not create jobs. it will not help the middle class. it will not speed the recovery. it will slow down the recovery. it will not reduce the deficit. it will not expand opportunity. we can't afford it. we're not going back. we are moving forward. an and that's why i'm running for second term as president of the united states. >> he knows both sides know they need -- they like that youth vote. of course, the president would like repeat performance of 2008. he would love to win that key, key state of florida. keep in mind, early voting begins in the state of florida this coming saturday. meantime, back to the vice president joe biden, vp hopeful paul ryan, the right and the left, they're making the case today before the world. my favorite married political contributors here. margaret hoover, john avalon weighing in on what we can
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grandfather versus fitness fanatic. we have unsolicited advice of margaret hoover joining me from florida, john avalon in new york. guys, welcome. as always. margaret hoover, i want to begin with you because you write about this. you both sort of cohof authored this piece on cnn.com and, margaret, you talk about the age gap. hoping it plays a role. paul ryan 27 years younger than joe biden. your point is what? make a generational pitch. how does he do that? >> well, remember, barack obama won the youth vote 2 to 1 four years ago but massive disenfranchisement from this generation. he was there at university of florida by my appeal to paul ryan is, make a millennial appeal. like no other gop member in the entire party, paul ryan has talked about the crisis in generational terms.
that the spending policies of 40 years, not democrats or republicans but both are actually generational theft. and that if there's one party or one person with the ideas to put the fiscal course of the country back in order for the next generation so they're not hit with more taxes or sluggish economy or both we have to fix the programs, medicare, medicaid, social security so they're there for the most vulnerable and my generation stuck paying for them and in terms of a worse economy. he has the best chance of a millennial pitch. >> okay. so pitch to the millennials. john avalon, you point out that biden to quote you has a heavier lift and bring back a win for the democrats while not overshooting the mark as you write. how does he do that? >> well, i mean he really does have to compensate for barack obama's weak first debate performance. make a clear contrast and in a
way that doesn't go off the rails. joe biden can be gaffe proned and can dominated the headlines here. he has to make a case the substance is behind the democrats. i think margaret makes a great point of paul ryan and do well and when it comes to a conversation of deficits and debts biden could point out that the romney-paul doesn't add up and doesn't deal with revenues or defense spending at all and ryan walked away from the bowles-simpson plan and that kind of engagement and clear contrast is what joe biden's got to bring. >> paul ryan obviously a very smart and people use the adjective wonkish. margaret, what do you think of peevish? what is your advice for him, john? >> well, if you ask me what i think, i think peevish is snide on behalf of my husband. i think paul ryan is wonky.
>> oh! >> but i don't know if that's a fair word. paul ryan is visionary. he's thinking about how to make things work in washington. he's put constructive plans forward in the house of representatives unlike any other member of congress so i don't know if peevish does him justice. but i do think he's an idealist and wants to make the government work. >> how does he make the intelligence work speaking to the americans, not above? >> paul ryan is a much bet communicator than mitt romney, for example. he has a great gift. seeing romney and ryan get peevish is questioned specifically about specifics. remain friendly, approachable and communicate with a way that resonates to folks on main street. that's a gift, a gift he's got but to back it up with policy substance and do the math and not bristle when people ask him how his plans add up.
>> both have to do that tonight. >> definitely. >> thanks so much to both of you, again, the debate 9:00 tonight. pregame on cnn at 7:00 eastern. and we'll be right back. ke up w, i went to the citi private pass page and decided to be...not boring. that's how i met marilyn... giada... really good. yes! [ jack ] ...and alicia. ♪ this girl is on fire [ male announcer ] use any citi card to get the benefits of private pass. more concerts, more events, more experiences. [ jack ] hey, who's boring now? [ male announcer ] get more access with the citi card. [ crowd cheering, mouse clicks ] [ i had[ designer ]eelingre enough of just covering uprd. my moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. i decided enough is enough. ♪ [ spa lady ] i started enbrel. it's clinically proven to provide clearer skin. [ rv guy ] enbrel may not work for everyone -- and may not clear you completely, but for many, it gets skin clearer fast, within 2 months,
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getting americans back to work. it is a it is a topic that will absolutely come up tonight during the vice presidential debate. and today perhaps a little bit of ammunition for vice president biden as new jobless -- excuse me, jobless numbers came out just a short time ago. here you go. 339,000 first-time unemployment claims were filed last week. that is a four-year low. and it was down 30,000 from the previous week. also more for you on the housing front. good news, foreclosure filings hit a five-year low. just over 180,000 in september. that is a 7% decline from august. so many of you have reached out and tweeted me about this story, this 14-year-old young woman, malala yousufzai, this
the teenager who terrifies the taliban is struggling to recover from their attempt to shoot her into silence. malala yousufzai is in critical condition. she is suffering from a swelling to her brain. she was moved to a new hospital today. taliban gunmen hunted her down on the bus taking her home from school and shot her point-blank. the taliban accused the 14-year-old obscenity because she has the audacity to proclaim her right to education. that attack on malala has outraged people all over the world. i know many of them including you, i want you to listen to the words of former first lady laura bush. this is what she wrote in today's "the washington post," "speaking outd after an atrocious act, however isn't enough. we must speak up before these acts occur. work to ensure they do not happen again and keep our courage to continue to resist
the ongoing cruelty and barberism of the taliban. malala yousufzai refused to look the other way. we owe it to her courage and sacrifice to do the same." laura bush. just ahead, back to politics to places you won't see tonight on television during the debate. we will give you a behind the scenes tour in danville, kentucky. , and baseball. those years were crazy. so, as we go into this next phase, you know, a big part of it for us is that there isn't anything on the schedule. ♪
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call the number on your screen or go to lifelock.com to try lifelock protection risk free for a full 60 days. use promo code: gethelp. plus get this document shredder free-- but only if you act right now. call the number on your screen now! for folks in danville, kentucky, tonight is not just a vice presidential debate. in fact, they are calling it the thrill in the ville part 2. it will happen on the campus of centre college in danville. mark preston has a behind the scenes look. hey, mark. >> reporter: welcome to danville. a city of less than 20,000 here in south central kentucky, which will be the center of the political universe tonight for the vice presidential debate otherwise known as the thrill in the ville 2. >> the town is just buzzing.
everybody wants to be a part of it. >> reporter: area residents are embraced in this international spotlight on the city. >> i'm really excited. it gives our school a lot of publicity. and it gets our name out there. >> reporter: but the candidates aren't trying to convince the voters of kentucky to support them in november. this is romney country. but when they take the stage down at centre college right down the street, they're going to try to convince tens of millions of people tonight to support them specifically those living in the swing states. >> it's just exciting to watch it and be a part of it regardless of what side you're on. >> how do you think this debate is going to be different or similar? >> i think there will probably be more tension in this debate after what happened in denver. i think a lot of people are going to be watching to see where this campaign is going. >> reporter: the most important person in the audience is going to be sitting way up in the rafters. let's go take a look to see who he is. his name is fred vincent. he's a centre college alum, former congressman and former chief justice of the supreme court. he's a beloved figure here on campus. in fact, he's known as dead